New twist in the health scandal around Buitoni pizzas. A former executive of the Nestlé group, the parent company of the frozen food brand, denounces “practices against all ethics”, with our colleagues from BFM TV, this Monday, June 6. Yasmine Motarjemi, international head of food safety at Nestlé from 2000 to 2010, said she had toured the group’s factories for ten years and alerted her hierarchy to any safety problems she observed.
“They had linked the bonus, the managers’ bonus to product withdrawals. This means that if you withdraw a contaminated product, we withdraw a defective product from the market, you will not receive your bonus”, she denounced to from BFM TV. The ex-executive notably recounted a visit during which she noticed that the workers went to the toilets with their work clothes. “And there, lightning fell on me: ‘Why are you asking this question? You don’t understand the business…'”, she testified.
Dismissed for “difference of opinion”
Yasmine Motarjemi was eventually fired by Nestlé in 2010 for “difference of opinion” in food safety management. Two months after the first recall of Buitoni pizzas contaminated with E.coli bacteria, the Paris prosecutor’s office announced the opening of a judicial investigation. Authorities are currently investigating 15 cases, one case of manslaughter and 14 cases of unintentional injury. As a reminder, two children died of contamination with E. coli bacteria after consuming pizzas from the “Fraîch’Up” range. Many other children have fallen ill and some still have sequelae such as kidney failure. On April 23, around fifty parents decided to file a complaint against the brand so that “no child would end up in the hospital for a simple piece of pizza”. In total, more than fifty cases have been detected in the country.
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